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INTERVIEW: Sirens

1. How would you classify your music?

We are classified as Rock, New Wave, Pop, Alternative.

Collectively we’ve gravitated towards the driving beat of a band like the killers because it does something to us inside. It moves us in a way that inspires us to create the same mood for somebody else or even the next generation coming up.

Jake: “I found a lot of safe places in music, especially in the alternative genre. For some reason, the type of guy I’ve always been has gravitated towards helping other people with like-minded tastes in music. Alternative, New Wave, Pop-oriented music just kicks ass!”

2. Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Man, this question has some weight to it!

As a group, we come from different backgrounds and love all types of music; Ranging from Dolly Parton to even Young Money Mane (aka OG Money (Mane)).

We have been compared to the likes of The Killers, Weezer, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Sublime, and Tears for Fears.

Jake: “I think each person in the band would say the person that most influences them the most would be different.”

Jake: “For me, personally I wanted to be like and write music like the guys from the band Sublime for so long, but I found that it just wasn’t me anymore. I love the music Sublime created and I tried to draw from it religiously in my youth and even today. But the more and more I write, the more I find that I write less like Sublime and more like Led Zeppelin or some sort of country music I’ve never heard before.”

Jake: “You know, it’s like when you get into the music scene and then you start writing for other people; Ryan Tedder for example, he’ll write a killer rock song or pop song (whatever you want to call it) and then go and sell one of his songs to Beyoncé. The perfect example of what I’m trying to say. So many types of ways to write a song and different style of music. You sort of never know what direction it’s going to take until you dive in and truly construct the song.“

3. What do you want fans to take from your music?

We would like our fans to enjoy the same passion we have in music with an emphasis on heart felt lyrics, melody, and low-end bass.

We think the most important thing for us is when somebody comes to hear us play that they feel the message.  The songs need to have a feel and leave an impression on the people listening.

That’s the most important thing when it comes to people coming to watch us play; the critical masses.

Everything else will follow.

People will spread the word about our band, good or bad, talking about what we did for them or how it’s moved their life.

4. How’s the music scene in your locale?

Jake: “Years ago, I would say that the music scene was alive and well in the Washington D.C. area.  I’m talking about 10 years ago or so. Nowadays, I feel like the music scene has been destroyed from within. Unfortunately, I never see local bands supporting other local bands anymore. No camaraderie whatsoever.”

Jake: “I think some of it may boil down to some of the bands recently maybe suck. But I wouldn’t dare say that to any other band. Sometimes you just have to sit through a shitty band.”

“I’d say these days, in the area that we are located that if there is a band that you’re interested in, you may find them online and go seek out to watch them play.  But nowadays the truth is, there is no more music scene in Washington DC. “

Jake: “We are going to begin trying to create something new here once more! We’ll see how it all works out.”

The music scene is what you make of it here in the Washington D.C. area. DC is a great hub and melting pot for many different cultures and diverse music. We are glad to be a part of a new movement.

5. What is the best concert you have been to?

Jake: “I think my wife Sarah would agree that one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to was a Weezer concert in Richmond Virginia because there wasn’t as many people there. We sort of worked ourselves to the front row and we were all just vibing that night!”

“The tour manager, Thomas O’Keefe, was kind enough to say hello to us and give us hugs. He knows us (the band) because we’ve been to multiple Weezer shows. For me, personally, Weezer is one of my top 5 favorite bands.”

“I just enjoyed the whole atmosphere at the show! That Richmond race-track, the people, and the fans who were playing beer pong with volleyballs and giant red trash cans too.”

Weezer: Richmond, VA

6. What do you like most about playing live?

We love the energy and connection we have with our friends and fans! It is the best feeling to all become as one and release every emotion.

Jake: “One thing that is helpful for me as a person is that I get to release aggression, anger, my thoughts, and my feelings over and over and over again each time we play. I get to release the things that I think about of the past or that are eating me alive or just have been a nuisance. For me, it’s almost like therapy and that’s what I enjoy best about concerts for me.”

“I also like the fact that there’s an opportunity to impress upon somebody else that you can look to do and achieve anything you put your mind to.”

“Really, it’s an opportunity for one person in the crowd to be working their 9 to 5 job and say ‘fuck it, I don’t want to work my 9 to 5 job anymore because I’m passionate about something different’; They then go turn around and pursue what they love and make it into something that’s fruitful or that they can actually live off of.”

That’s a big deal and it all comes with music the universal language the inspirational language!

Jake: “I’ve never really been able to communicate my feelings one-on-one to somebody or have deep conversations. So, when I write I tend to write stories that I consider to be ‘deep’. I would suggest for anybody that can’t have or has trouble speaking to somebody one-on-one in a conversation that they try writing a song and saying ‘this is how I feel’.”

7.  Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why? 

Yes! One our current EP ‘White Album’ release, the song ‘I Believe’ stands out as our personal favorite.  The song has a great vibe and flow to it and most of all, lyrically touches on the very topic most everyone can relate to; finding true love in that one person who will change your life forever for the better.

Jake: “Lately I’ve really been vibing with this song we wrote called ‘Aimlessly’ (You will find this song on Our next Album Drop, which we are currently in the process of recording.) It’s about my dad and how he left us when Josh (drummer) and I were just kids.”

“My mom had the hardship of raising me and my brother and providing for us as a family coming up our entire lives. And while she was doing that busting her ass, my dad was out there wandering around aimlessly nowhere to be found.”

“So additionally when we are planning on doing a video for the song, I actually want to cast my dad as the father that plays himself so when people see it for the first, second, third, fourth, endless time, AND they also come from a single household, that it resonates with them and it is the most honest delivery or impression someone can make coming from that same sort of background. The song just vibes and flows is just one of those songs that was easy to write. It came together really fast and was killer all in one small little nutshell of a song. Hopefully it explodes become something huge!”

8. How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

Jake: “As an artist or somebody who writes music frequently, I think I’ve changed in the last year more so than ever with-regards-to writing lyrics and making sure that the song and the words in the song make sense and have more meaning to them. I think we’ve developed a lot musically as a band and I think it’s been good, but I also think the biggest change has been the words.”

Jake: “Josh (drummer) references Ryan Tedder quite a bit and I think he’s on to something because Ryan Tedder is a sought-after and legendary song writer. I think I like that guy a lot and just don’t understand how good he really is.”

We have influences that are local as well and not so well known, but are fantastic thinkers out there and when you talk to them and they hear our song, they say “hey why don’t you try it like this?” It just comes up in a way that sometimes can be magic! Steve Dresser is fantastic at doing so.

Jake: “Steve (Dresser) has a big influence on us as a band and needs to be credited for that too! That’s why I’m dropping his name right here.”

“Todd Vesey is another person that is like the quiet guy in the group and when he talks, people should listen. He’s helped the band just by short conversations as well.”

“One thing I did do in the past year is sold my half-stack. Now I’ve got this Helix LT that’s like 30 different amps and 200 different controls. I’m still learning this thing that but that was a big change! And change for the good! Everyone should go out and try one of these things… They are bad to the bone.”

Being involved in music, we found that just like anything else in life, our musical influences and life’s moments (good and bad) have shaped us to where we are now. Our music is always evolving through-out this life’s journey.

9. If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?  For selfish reasons I think the person that I like the most co-write a song with is whoever’s at the top of the pop charts

Stevie Lee Kinzer: “If I could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive), I’d have to say, Johnny Cash.”

Jake Barnhart: “I don’t even know who that person is but dead or alive maybe the Beatles. I think writing a song with them or even just Paul McCartney would be freaking amazing! The way that they changed overtime and transform themselves, to me, just kept it interesting, and I love when people keep things interesting and keep continuing delivering messages that make sense.”

“There’s something uniquely special about that band and it does not come too often.”

“These days everyone has their own agenda and I think some Purity in the music gets lost because of the selfishness in the end that’s inside of all us people. I even have problems with it too at times.  I will want to be well-known and relevant and I think everybody does and that’s why I say for selfish reasons I would like to co-write a song with the likes of The Beatles or Ryan Tedder or somebody of that caliber of musician… even Steven Tyler with as visible as he is too.”

“But I think my all-time favorite musician although I don’t write anything like him is Brad Nowell from Sublime. He kept it interesting, created a culture around the band. They put is on their back and made it grow and now there’s a cult following for that type of guy he’s the grandfather of that type of music. Because he kept it interesting!”

Josh Barnhart: “Ryan Tedder. He tells a story you can believe in and associate with.”

10.  What’s next for you?

We are currently in the process of recording a new album and shooting a new music video.

Jake: “With all the positive things that we have going on, I’d say the future holds a lot of things for us next!”

“We’ve got three guys (Sirens USA) on the same page that are thinking about taking the music that we have written; ready to perform in front of hundreds of thousands of people for years to come.”

“The videos that we are currently making right now for I believe and Aimlessly should be so fun and informative for anybody that wants to get to know us and understand what we are about and where we come from!”

Sirens: “We’ve even talked about doing a documentary in the near-future to somewhat explain how the band came about.”

Sirens: “…the simple answer to the question is, we are working hard on our first debut album and music video. We want every song to be a hit and vibe with every single person that it comes into contact with…”

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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